Category Archives: Imperialism

When Should the US Go to War? by Doug Bandow

Remember the good old days when the watchwords of US foreign policy were: avoid foreign entanglements. Those days are long gone, but they should be reinstated. From Doug Bandow at antiwar.com:

The U.S. is the most militarized and warlike nation on earth. Most Americans don’t think of their nation that way. Indeed, stating this fact often generates anger and outrage. However, what other state has gone to war so often since the Cold War ended? Certainly not the countries most likely to be on the Right’s “to bomb” list – China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria, or Venezuela, individually or collectively.

The tally of nations droned, bombed, invaded, and/or occupied, threatened with war by the US, or attacked by other nations aided by America, over the last three decades is long: Afghanistan, Haiti, Iran, Iraq (twice!), Kenya, Libya, North Korea, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Serbia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Uganda, and Yemen. Others have been hit with financial war in the form of immiserating sanctions, which sometimes do as much economic damage as military action.

Many of these conflicts were small scale. However, their consequences were usually large. For instance, Iraq resulted in hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties and destabilized the entire region. Yemen is a humanitarian disaster. Afghanistan’s and Libya’s civil wars drag on. Having failed to force the Assad regime from power, US troops remain, illegally occupying Syrian oil fields in order to hinder that desperate country’s economic recovery. Threats against Iran and North Korea easily could have turned out as wars worse than Iraq.

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The Big Skedaddle, by Jeff Thomas

Now, more than ever, productive people will go where they’re treated well. It’s a lesson the US government will learn to its sorrow. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:

Skedaddle
In the early twentieth century, there was an exodus out of Europe.

George, my paternal grandfather, looked around England, where the family had been since the eleventh century, and decided that a national fdecline had begun.

Although England was still very much an empire, it had fallen into the decline that ancient Rome had experienced before it. Where it had once expanded its possessions and profited from them, it was now spending millions of pounds maintaining them. The less profitable colonies were becoming a liability and the more profitable ones were breaking away.

In addition, the British class structure was beginning to break down. The ruling class were becoming lazy and unproductive and, increasingly, were bleeding the lower classes in order to continually expand their own idle privilege.

Worse, Britain had fallen into a seemingly never-ending series of wars. Wars have always impoverished countries, creating the necessity of increased taxation. And in the early twentieth century, all of Europe was spoiling for a war that was to become the “Great War.”

Historically, these conditions always have led to decline in a nation or empire, leaving the new generation of adults with a worse future than their antecedents had had. Continue reading

War Crimes and War Criminals: Who Will Be Held Accountable? by Philip Giraldi

Let’s see, if the US invades your country, perhaps to change the regime, and you fight the invading force, you’re a terrorist. It makes perfect sense. From Philip Giraldi at strategicculture.com:

There is something unique about how the United States manipulates the “terrorism” label to avoid being accused of carrying out war crimes. When an indigenous militia or an armed insurgency like the Taliban in a country like Iraq or Afghanistan attacks American soldiers subsequent to a U.S. invasion which overthrew the country’s government, it is considered by Washington to be an act of “terrorism.” Terror attacks de facto permit a carte blanche response, allowing virtually anything as retaliation against the parties involved or countries that support them, including the assassination of foreign government officials. But for the attacker, whose perspective is quite different, the incident often could reasonably be described as legitimate resistance to a foreign occupier and much of the world might agree with that assessment.

So, it all comes down to definitions. The United States covers its version of reality through liberal use of the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) which more-or-less gives a blanket approval to attack and kill “terrorists” anywhere at any time. And how does one become a terrorist? By being included on the U.S. government’s heavily politicized annual list of terrorist groups and material supporters of terrorism. That was the argument that was used by the United States when it killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in January, that his organization, the Qods Force, was on the “terrorist” lists maintained by State and the Treasury Department and he was therefore held to be guilty of any and all attacks on U.S. military carried out by Qods or by presumed Iranian surrogate militias.

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Allies Are Supposed to Help the US, but Americans Always Do the Paying, by Doug Bandow

We say we’re helping our allies, but in reality they’re part of our empire, an empire that has an exorbitant price. From Doug Bandow at antiwar.com:

U.S. foreign policy is dominated by a constant search for allies. Big or small, rich or poor, strong or weak. It doesn’t matter. The more the merrier, rather like acquiring more Facebook Friends than anyone else, thereby winning bragging rights.

This incessant search for new allies turned into farce with NATO’s celebration when Montenegro and North Macedonia were admitted. Members of the transatlantic pact exulted, apparently believing that they finally could rest easy, sure that Vladimir Putin’s Slavic hordes would be kept at bay by the vast new armies added to NATO’s ranks.

The US once sought alliances to achieve a common purpose and enhance its security – in theory, at least. Having decided to intervene in Europe in World Wars I and II and the Cold War, it good policy to cooperate with allied powers. (Not that joining the conflicts themselves necessarily made any sense. For instance, the New World had no security stake in the Great War, the imperial murderfest that brought mankind communism, fascism, Nazism, the Second World War, and endless Middle Eastern conflicts in succeeding years.)

Today, however, alliances have gone from means to ends for Washington policymakers. Of course, Europe should be defended, but not by America: the Europeans collectively outclass Russia on most every important measure of national power, and nothing suggests that Vladimir Putin hopes to achieve conquests that Joseph Stalin eschewed. Since NATO serves no necessary military purpose, it has become something very different, a welfare organization by which Americans subsidize the defense of European states which neither feel threatened nor see any reason to invest in their militaries since America has promised to do the job. Indeed, Washington’s defense guarantee almost makes it stupid for Europeans to even field militaries, other than for ceremonial purposes.

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George Washington Tried To Warn Americans About Foreign Policy Today, by Doug Bandow

It’s unknown whether any of the people tearing down Washington’s statues have a better idea than he did about how to conduct US foreign policy. Certainly the people who are actually conducting US foreign policy don’t. From Doug Bandow at antiwar.com:

Ben Rhodes, Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser, unkindly characterized the foreign policy establishment in Washington, D.C., as “the Blob.” Although policymakers sometimes disagree on peripheral subjects, membership requires an absolute commitment to U.S. “leadership,” which means a determination to micro-manage the world.

Reliance on persuasion is not enough. Vital is the willingness to bomb, invade, and, if necessary, occupy other nations to impose the Blob’s dictates on other peoples. If foreigners die, as they often do, remember the saying about eggs and omelets oft repeated by communism’s apologists. “Stuff happens” with the best-intentioned policies.

One might be inclined to forgive Blob members if their misguided activism actually benefited the American people. However, all too often the Blob’s policies instead aid other governments and interests. Washington is overrun by the representatives of and lobbyists for other nations, which constantly seek to take control of US policy for their own advantage. The result are foreign interventions in which Americans do the paying and, all too often, the dying for others.

The problem is primarily one of power. Other governments don’t spend a lot of time attempting to take over Montenegro’s foreign policy because, well, who cares? Exactly what would you do after taking over Fiji’s foreign ministry other than enjoy a permanent vacation? Seize control of international relations in Barbados and you might gain a great tax shelter.

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Does the Next Presidential Election Even Matter? by the Saker

Whoever wins, the US empire will continue its deep decline, both domestically and internationally. From the Saker at unz.com:

Just by asking the question of whether the next Presidential election matters, I am obviously suggesting that it might not. To explain my reasons for this opinion, I need to reset the upcoming election in the context of the previous one. So let’s begin here.

The 2016 election of Donald Trump

The first thing which, I believe, ought to be self-evident to all by now is that there was no secret operation by any deep state, not even a Zionist controlled one, to put Donald Trump in power. I would even argue that the election of Donald Trump was the biggest slap in the face of US deep state and of the covert transnational ruling elites this deep state serves. Ever. My evidence? Simple, look what these ruling “elites” did both before and after Trump’s election: before, they ridiculed the very idea of “President Trump” as both utterly impossible and utterly evil.

As somebody who has had years of experience reading the Soviet press or, in another style, the French press, I can honestly say that I have never seen a more ridiculously outlandish hate campaign against anybody that would come even close to the kind of total hate campaign which Trump was subjected to. Then, as soon as he was elected, the US neo-liberals (who are not liberals at all!) declared that Trump was “not their President”, that Trump was put into power by Putin and that he was a “Russian asset” (using pseudo-professional jargon is what journos typically do to conceal their abject ignorance of a complex topic) and, finally, that he was a White racist and misogynist who will deeply divide the country (thereby dividing the country themselves by making such claims).

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‘The God That Failed’: Why the U.S. Cannot Now Re-Impose Its Civilisational Worldview, by Alastair Crooke

The US lacks the power to impose its vision on the world. From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:

It was always a paradox: John Stuart Mill, in his seminal (1859), On Liberty, never doubted that a universal civilisation, grounded in liberal values, was the eventual destination of all of humankind. He looked forward to an ‘Exact Science of Human Nature’, which would formulate laws of psychology and society as precise and universal as those of the physical sciences. Yet, not only did that science never emerge, in today’s world, such social ‘laws’ are taken as strictly (western) cultural constructs, rather than as laws or science.

So, not only was the claim to universal civilisation not supported by evidence, but the very idea of humans sharing a common destination (‘End of Times’) is nothing more than an apocalyptic remnant of Latin Christianity, and of one minor current in Judaism. Mill’s was always a matter of secularized religion – faith – rather than empiricism. A shared human ‘destination’ does not exist in Orthodox Christianity, Taoism or Buddhism. It could never therefore qualify as universal.

Liberal core tenets of individual autonomy, freedom, industry, free trade and commerce essentially reflected the triumph of the Protestant worldview in Europe’s 30-years’ civil war. It was not fully even a Christian view, but more a Protestant one.

This narrow, sectarian pillar was able to be projected into a universal project – only so long as it was underpinned by power. In Mill’s day, the civilisational claim served Europe’s need for colonial validation. Mill tacitly acknowledges this when he validates the clearing of the indigenous American populations for not having tamed the wilderness, nor made the land productive.

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Let’s Talk Privilege…. by Mark E. Jeftovic

The title may make it look like this is an article about race, but it’s not. From Mark E. Jeftovic at outofthecave.io:

After the 9/11 terror attacks, when our privacies were permanently revoked, and we entered into “a war which would never end in our lifetimes”, Bush II proclaimed “They hate us because of our freedoms”.

Some critics thought that was an almost nonsensical statement to make, while the credulous took it at face value. It framed whoever perpetrated the attacks as some inhuman “other” that despised happiness itself. It was unthinkable anybody could have an actual foreign-policy derived reason for doing it, and anybody who suggested as much was usually hounded out of the public eye.

However I always thought that utterance did have a kernel of truth to it. If you looked at the United States as a global empire, and that the freedoms “they” hated were not actually the ones to assemble, or worship or to vote, as Bush intimated, but rather the ones where America acted unilaterally in its own interest observing American Exceptionalism as a type of infallible axiom, then Bush would have been closer to the substance of the matter.

Here was world hegemon who claimed the freedom to overthrow governments, the freedom to bomb or invade any country it pleased, the freedom to support brutal dictators, assassinate enemies, interfere in elections and basically do whatever it wanted. Seen in that light, then yes, the 9/11 attackers did hate our “freedoms”.

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Biden And His Ventriloquists Keep Out-Hawking Trump, by Caitlin Johnstone

Trump could pick up substantial votes if he’d just quit hawking and let Joe Biden have that vote, which is essentially a vote for the Deep State. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

Joe Biden keeps trying to out-warmonger Donald Trump, and by Joe Biden I of course mean the team of handlers who are animating the dementia-ravaged corpse of the Biden campaign like a ventriloquist operating a wooden dummy.

In response to Trump suggesting an openness to scaling back his administration’s murderous Venezuela policy and meeting with President Nicolás Maduro, whoever runs Biden’s Twitter account for him seized upon the moment to assert that the former vice president will be doing no such thing if elected commander-in-chief.

“Trump talks tough on Venezuela, but admires thugs and dictators like Nicolas Maduro,” tweeted Biden Incorporated. “As President, I will stand with the Venezuelan people and for democracy.”

“Translation: if Trump retreats from his current policy of trying to sanction and suffocate Venezuelan into submission, Biden will make sure to revive it,” journalist Aaron Maté said in response.

“To be clear, Joe Biden is now attacking Donald Trump from the right on Venezuela,” said journalist Walker Bragman.

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America’s Recessional: Time to Bring the Troops Home, by Philip Giraldi

Trump certainly wouldn’t hurt his election chances if he brought a significant number of troops home before November 3. From Philip Giraldi at strategic-culture.org:

Two weeks ago a senior Trump Administration official revealed that the president had decided to withdraw 9,500 American soldiers from Germany and that the administration would also be capping total U.S. military presence in that country at 25,000, which might involve more cuts depending what is included in the numbers. The move was welcomed in some circles and strongly criticized in others, but many observers were also bemused by the announcement, noting that Donald Trump had previously ordered a reduction in force in Afghanistan and a complete withdrawal from Syria, neither of which has actually been achieved. In Syria, troops were only moved from the northern part of the country to the oil producing region in the south to protect the fields from seizure by ISIS, while in Afghanistan the nineteen-year-long training mission and infrastructure reconstruction continue.

In a somewhat related development, the Iraqi parliament has called for the removal of U.S. troops from the country, a demand that has been rejected by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Put it all together and it suggests that any announcement coming from the White House on ending America’s useless wars should be regarded with some skepticism.

The United States has its nearly 35,000 military personnel remaining in Germany as its contribution to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), founded in 1949 to counter Soviet forces in Eastern Europe in what was to become the Warsaw Pact. Both the Organization and Pact were ostensibly defensive alliances and the U.S. active participation was intended to demonstrate American resolve to come to the aid of Western Europe. Currently, 75 years after the end of World War II and thirty years after the fall of communist governments in Eastern Europe, NATO is an anachronism, kept going by the many statesmen and military establishments of the various countries that have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. Since the demise of the European communist regimes, NATO has found work in bombing Serbia, destroying Libya and in helping in the unending task to train an Afghan army.

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